Friday, October 30, 2009

Can't think of a snazzy title...

I don't feel like I have a whole lot to say, but I know I like to keep reading other's blogs even when there's not a lot of earthshattering events happening.
School is going well. Really, really well. I had some great breakthroughs in classes this week, and I'm feeling pretty darn good about being where I am right now. I'm enjoying my movement class so much, even though it's very challenging to try to break through (ahem.) 40 years of habitual patterns and explore new possibilities of expressive movement. It's nothing major - no handstands or backflips, just things like trying to find expansive, free, and released movement instead of my habitual contracted, bound and withdrawn ones. I wish there were a Movement 2 class offered next semester, because I don't think I'm going to be anywhere near "done" learning this stuff by December. The Acting class is going well too. I had some really good exercise work this week, and I'm happy to discover that my emotional range is a lot more expansive than it was when I was 19. Go figure. Combat is fun - we're learning how to slam each other's heads into the wall, table, floor, etc. And I'm still getting all A's on my papers in Research and Aesthetics. It's almost time to register for Spring semester, when I'll be taking Text Analysis, Scene Study, and Rapier and Dagger. I start rehearsals for Little Women on Monday (which, by the way, is already completely sold out. Hope we don't suck!)
Don seems to be mostly enjoying his job. He's still shadowing someone because he doesn't have all the passwords and such he needs yet (it is an adjustment working in a military environment, no doubt about it) and he'll be happier when he can go out on his own. He doesn't like getting up so early, or sitting so long in traffic, but he's happy to be getting out and meeting people, and of course, bringing in some money soon.
The kids are doing much better in school. They seem pretty happy, overall, and Tarzan's got a new girlfriend already. It's almost time for teacher conferences, so I'm looking forward to getting an inside perspective on how things have changed for them.
It was great to have Mom and Dad here for a couple of days, even though I was in class and didn't get to see them a whole lot. They cooked dinner for us, and brought some much needed bigger sized clothing for the kids, and read stories, and played games, and even got to go to the beach twice. I wish they could have stayed longer! But Granny Carol is coming in a couple of weeks, and the kids are really looking forward to her visit. We all are, not just the kids!
Off to a lunch meeting!

Friday, October 16, 2009


So the verdict is in! Actually, the results aren't a total surprise, as two of the professors pulled me aside yesterday to tell me that I was cast in a couple of the shows, but they were conflicting not only with each other, but with As You Like It, which I have already started rehearsals for. They wanted to know if it would be all right with me if I was taken out of As You Like It and put in the other shows instead, with much bigger parts. So I said sure! So, I'm cast as Marmee in Little Women, going up Dec. 10 - 13, and Mrs. Kendal in Elephant Man, going up the last two weeks in January. I was hoping I'd get into Godspell too, but I didn't. Not You Can't Take It With You either, so no 25th anniversary performances for me. But I'm thrilled with the two parts I got, and really looking forward to tackling some challenging work. So long, Shakespeare...our acquaintance was brief, but fun.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Callback Week!

Wow! Last week was crazy...and it's not over yet! Monday (my birthday) were general auditions for the "Spring" season, (although they included Little Women, which goes up in December, so it's not really spring...) which meant that we performed a one minute monologue and a 30 second song for the 4 directors who will be casting the shows. The four shows are Little Women, Elephant Man, You Can't Take it With You, and Godspell. It's a little ironic that I performed in You Can't Take it With You and Godspell my sophomore year in high school 25 years ago!!! It REALLY doesn't feel like it was that long ago. Anyway, the audition went okay, although I still get so nervous when I have to sing at an audition, and I felt the song was a little weak. Definitely not as good as it sounded in my house.

But, it must have gone all right because I ended up getting called back for all four shows! For those who aren't familiar with callbacks, that means you and whoever else was called back read from several selections of the script, specifically for the role you're being considered for. Elephant Man callbacks were Tuesday night. Now, I have to confess, I'm not 100% familiar with the Elephant Man script. I read the first half of one about a year ago, and I was so bored with it I couldn't finish it. However, that must have been a different version, because I finally read most of the Pomerance version that we're doing, and it was much better. Anyway, I was called back for the role of Mrs. Kendal, and for Nurse Sandwich. Mrs. Kendal is a pretty major part...originally it was going to be someone's thesis role, but they ended up getting pregnant and can't do it. Also, the character is supposed to get naked onstage. HOWEVER, they won't be staging it here with nudity (it is Regent, after all) but only with the suggestion of nudity. I think that callback went really well.
Callbacks for You Can't Take it With You were Wednesday night. For that, I was called back for Penelope - the mother character. In high school I played Essie, the wannabe ballerina, but for some reason I'm not being considered for that character anymore!! Those were fun, but I had a splitting headache all throughout them and I was a bit distracted.
Acting callbacks for Godspell were Thursday night. We did lots of improv and storytelling games...the only named characters in Godspell are Jesus and Judas/John the Baptist, and I'm not up for one of those, so it would be ensemble...but the ensemble does EVERYTHING...and I think it would be really fun to do that show, and really challenging. Speaking of challenging, we were then taught a dance combo for the song/dance callbacks on Saturday...and I thought I was going to die. It is VERY fast, VERY high energy, and totally impossible to sing at the same time, but we have to try!
Saturday afternoon were singing and dance callbacks for Godspell. We sang parts for Save the People and All Good Gifts (I'm on alto, surprise, surprise!) and then I sang Turn Back alone. The singing went well - much better than the general audition - but I think another girl killed it on Turn Back, so she'll probably get the solo. Dance auditions went as well as could be expected. I held my own, and against kids half my age. So there.
Little Women callbacks are tonight. I'm reading for Marmee and Aunt March. (Sensing a pattern here...)

So, I'm kind of hoping for Elephant Man and Godspell. Little Women would be fun, but since it's a "studio" show, that means it rehearses from 5 -7 (as opposed to the Mainstage shows which rehearse 7 - 11) and I could have to be rehearsing for two shows at the same time. I'm already in As You Like It, which starts rehearsals tonight (after Little Women callbacks) and runs until the week after Thanksgiving. So if I do Little Women and Elephant Man, I'll be rehearsing pretty much nonstop until the end of January. And this is on top of regular classwork, which has kept me quite busy up until now.

I should find out what's going to happen within the next couple of days. Eek!

Monday, October 05, 2009


It's really not a big deal being 40. I'm still exactly the same person I was yesterday. However, I'm not the person I was last year! Here's last year's "birthday" post:

"There is just something about October that brings out the most incredible blue skies and color contrasts with the leaves. I remember distinctly that last year, on my birthday, I had just discovered the walking route that took me up to the top of the hills by the beautiful meadows. I remember looking at the sky and breathing the air, and feeling really happy.This year, for some reason, I'm feeling blue. Overwhelmed, tired. I spent my birthday feeling old and dull and stupid. And fat. I've been trying to walk or run almost everyday, but I'm not making any progress. It's frigging ridiculous how time consuming this application process is. If I had a full time job, I'd never be able to do it. I've spent at LEAST 20 hours this week alone on essay questions, ordering transcripts, requesting letters of recommendation, and filling out forms. And I'm not done yet!!!! And then I think about how small the chances are that I'll actually get into these programs, and it feels like a total waste of time. Of course, the chances are smaller if I don't apply, so there you are."

And now, I'm in a new city, a new house (although it's not mine), I'm an MFA student - I did it! All that work and stress and anxiety, and here I am. Not that it's not still stressful and lots of work, and if Don doesn't get a job soon we will be in a lot of trouble, but still I DID IT! I am 40, and an MFA student. I am SO glad I took this risk, and SO grateful for all the support of my friends and family that allowed me to do it.

I had breakfast in bed this morning - Cheerios and coffee (which I had to go downstairs and doctor before I could drink it) with three wonderful cards from my babies. I have to say, Tarzan's really made me laugh. The front says "Happy Birthday Mommy!" There's a picture of me with a speech bubble saying "Wow! It's my birthday already!" Then the inside says, "I'm going to miss that 39 mommy. But a new 40 mommy is here. I'm going to have a good time with new mommy." Then there's another picture of me with a really big head, and a speech bubble saying "Hey! My head is not this big! It's still my birthday!"

Frankly, I'm not going to miss that 39 mommy.

The new 40 mommy is here, and I'm going to have a good time with new mommy.

Friday, October 02, 2009

How the hell did it get to be October?

It's the weather. That's what's been deceiving me. It was 82 degrees today. We've been going to the beach every weekend. How can it possibly be October? But it is. And we still haven't had Cinderella's "friend" party. She still doesn't know kids names, so it's really hard to invite them! It will happen, though. Even if it turns out to be a 6 1/2 party.
Speaking of birthdays...someone has a pretty big one coming up. Not going to think about that though. My only wish is that we had a sitter and some moola to go out and celebrate! But since I have auditions that night anyway, it's not that great a loss. Yes, another round of auditions. This time, for Little Women, Elephant Man, You Can't Take it With You, and Godspell. Also, two midterms next week, in movement and Stage Combat. I've written 4 papers for Research and Aesthetics so far: Personal Worldview, Greek/Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance. I've gotten grades back for the first three - I think my professor is an easy grader. I'm not complaining, though. We'll be starting rehearsals for As you Like It in two weeks, and paper writing will be getting a lot harder after that.
School is getting lots better for the kids. The first two weeks were horrible. They were trying so hard to adjust and assimilate all this new input, with no Mom and Dad around, and it was just too much at first. They're really starting to get a handle on things now, I think. There are things about the school system we're not really thrilled with so far, but it's early yet, and we're all still finding our way.
Tarzan's joined the CubScouts, and we're looking for a used uniform and starting to sell popcorn. There are no active Odyssey of the Mind groups around here, and I'm seriously debating whether I have the crazy to try to start one.
Cinderella's starting to read a little better, but she's a bit behind where the boys where at this point. She has the most homework out of the three of them, though, so she'll be catching up soon.
Missing family and Pittsburgh friends, when I have time to stop and think about it. Mostly, I don't have much time. But I do love you all!!!